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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
June 21, 1996     The Message
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June 21, 1996

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana mentary-- .......... * * ctions for Christian mission: Security in persecution "y for other. The reason for the differences mperor Diocletian regulated the price of sparrows Twelfth Sunday: ew 10:26- the Wonderful arrangement material we call the the author With the Sermon on the of sayings of by the Church finally edited and ;hew. The Set- Mount was followed by of nine in sets of three of these nine miracles attributed to intended by the author to prove the va- teaching and mission to his people just as the miracles worked by Moses Moses' behalf were intended to r of his teaching and mission. work was to be carried on by a suc- was chosen by the Lord at Moses' so Jesus' work is to be carried on by disci- by God through the prayer for laborers a prayer the Matthean Jesus urges l Matthew 9:37. In response to the author lists the names of twelve Who are to guide them n of Jesus' activity of healing aching. We call this set of in- the "missionary sermon" of Jesus. These OCcur in similar form in Mark, Luke, and in an abbreviated form in Their similarity is highlighted which they also contradict each  !(i  !! ill!! By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST is that the various Christian Churches adapted Jesus' instruc- tions to varying circumstances. Today's gospel reading takes us into the center of Matthew's form of the missionary instructions. The theme is one of reassurance in the face of persecution. Persecution is to be expected because Jesus himself was persecuted for his teaching and healing. They cannot expect to fare any better than he did. They will face even death itself, but death is not to be feared because their Fa- ther in heaven is watching and pro- tecting. By the time Matthew wrote his gospel the first major persecution was already over and other harassment of Christians continued. The admoni- tion not to fear death itself because their Father in heaven is watching is meant to reassure the sur- vivors of martyrs and future martyrs that their death would not be in vain. The example Matthew uses to make this point seems strange to us. Two sparrows are sold for a penny, and yet none of those sparrows dies unless it is the Father's will. Thus it was and is the will of the Father that some would die as Christian mar- tyrs, even though ?you are of more value than many sparrows." A comparison with Luke's version is in- teresting. In Luke's form of Jesus' saying five spar- rows are sold for two pennies instead of Matthew's two sparrows for one penny. A classic example of grocery pricing wars! It may be of interest to point out that sparrows were used for food in ancient times. The demand for sparrows seems to have been so great by the fourth century AD that the Roman at 16 pennies for ten sparrows. This was an inex- pensice food, the food of the poor. The point seems to be that persecutors sometimes consider the lives of the persecuted to be worth no more than the cheapest food. The truth of this statement is evident throughout the history of Christianity. Matthew ends today's gospel selection with a promise and a warning to all Christians. Those who publicly proclaim or acknowledge Jesus will be pre- sented by him to his Father, while those who deny him publicly will be excluded from the presence of the Father. The promise is reassuring to the sur- vivors of Christian martyrs. The warning is apropos because it is well known from Roman documents close to the time of Matthew's gospel that some Christians publicly "cursed Christ" at the request of examining Roman magistrates. If they did so, they were set free as having renounced Christianity. In one way or another every Christian is sub- ject tc the command of Jesus to continue Jesus' work of teaching and healing. Some still face perse- cution and even death for doing so. For most of us the situation is not that drastic. We may be thought of as fools and be ridiculed for taking a public stance in favor of Christian morality. Examples would be issues of aid to the poor, issues concerning the right to life both in its beginning and its end. To stand up for Christian morality in the face of the highest political opposition is indeed "to acknowl- edge me before humankind." To not do so, Matthew warns, will lead to the ultimate rejection, while to those who do so Jesus premises, "I will acknowledge them before my Father in heaven." Readings for 12th Sunday, .4: Jeremiah 20:10.13; Romans 5:12.15, Y S 8t Safety b. Co. Inc.. and Tri-state 33 WHAT SAYING US. You can depend on I don't know what t her." ity, IN !'ve felt that l have to be a must have love in e matter ... I love }'ear, today. Golden Jubilarians Ernest and Catherine (Strange) Colvin of Loogootee will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving June 22, 5:15 p.m., at St. John Church. Their children will host a reception in their honor from 2 to 4 p.m. June 23 at the K of C Hall in Loogootee. Friends and relatives are invited; the couple requests no gifts. They were married June 22, 1946, at St. John Church by Father Ralph Doyle. They are the parents of ten children: Larry, Ed, Mary Kay, Gene, Pat, Susan, Steve, Barbara, Rick and Dave. They have six grandchildren. 486-3977 off Hwy. 50 Ontgomery, IN All You Care To Eat Buffet Dining FAMILY STYLE DINING AND A-LA CARTE BANQUET ROOMS AVAILABLE PRE-ARRANGED AMISH TOURS Browse The Village Shops Every Monday Seniors receive 15% offi zm Golden Jubilarians Harry and Mary (Naas) McCullough will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 1-30 p.m. June 30 at Corpub Christi Church. An Open House and reception will follow. The couple was married June 26, 1946, at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Haubstadt. They are the parents of six children: Pete McCullough, Tom McCullough, Geralyn Ruminer, Bill McCtillough and Julie Conley, all of Evansville, and John McCuilough of Greenwood, Ind. They have 18 grandchildren. Mr. McCul. lough, founder of H. G. McCullough Designers, is retired. Mrs. McCullough is a homemaker. ] NAAS K SONS, INC. . Excavating. & Trucking *Backhoe *Dozing *Trerching -Stone *Gravel *Asohalt ,Complete Septic System & Water & Sewer Lines *Resential ana Commercial -T, yo,- 768-6450 Larry at 768-5806 Sce I FAX 812-768-5518 Mark at 867-7789 Rad/o Dsspalchat RR. #1 (2 m;Jes W. ,n 5%. N.bsta ] c-','. -s.: 768-59 i